Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth has challenged Welsh Government after it emerged that Transport for Wales had changed train times relating to smaller stations on Anglesey without adequate consultation with the affected communities.
The recent changes to the schedule mean that fewer services stop at smaller stations on the island, which raises problems for the users, leading to the AM writing to Transport for Wales to seek to have the changes reversed.
Transport for Wales has made alternative changes since receiving correspondence from the AM, but the end of day trains remain a concern for Mr ap Iorwerth.
In questioning Welsh Government Economy Minister, Ken Skates, this week Mr ap Iorwerth said:
“A number of constituents contacted me following timetable changes disappointed that services to the smaller stations in Môn—Bodorgan, Rhosneigr, Valley and Llanfairpwll—had been reduced. Yes, we need swift services, but we also need to serve our communities too.
“I am pleased that Transport for Wales has got back to me now, since I tabled this question, to say that there have been changes to timetables that meet some of the complaints that were made. Having said that, there are still a number of concerns about the availability of trains to smaller stations at the end of the school day and so on.
“Transport for Wales have admitted to me, ‘No, we perhaps didn’t consult sufficiently with the communities in making these decisions’, and I think the other concerns about trains at the end of the day is another example of something that could have been flagged up had there been proper consultation undertaken.”
The Minister agreed that there was a need for proper consultation with communities and said:
“The issue of proper consultation is something that I’ve raised with Transport for Wales as we approach the May timetable change. I think it’s essential that stakeholder groups, that communities, are informed well in advance of proposed changes so that they can have some input into whether those changes are beneficial or otherwise.
“There is a contractual obligation, of course, in place to ensure that no stations receive fewer services than was the case when the franchise was let, and that is something that must be upheld, and it’s the reason why Transport for Wales have been working to determine alternative services up until May, when those services that were withdrawn from some of the smaller stations can be addressed.
Please contact Transport Wales via e-mail: customer.relations@tfwrail.Wales or Tel: 0333 3211 202 if you would wish to raise any concerns directly with them.